Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers Report (Week 6): Waiver Wire Pickups, Streamers, Injury Updates & More
Ron Schwane/Getty Images. Pictured: Wade Miley.
The 2021 MLB season has already witnessed four no-hitters (five if you’re down with Madison Bumgarner). That is halfway to the all-time record of eight in 1884, or seven done three times in the modern era (1990, 1991, 2012). We were also three pitches away from three perfect games. Two ended on hit by pitches, and another by a dropped-third strike. This is amazing, crazy and concerning. As of May 7, strikeouts are at an all-time high, and the league’s batting average of .234 is an all-time low.
Scoff at the low minors and independent leagues trying new rules and adjustments, but we are experiencing an era of pitching dominance that hitters have not adjusted to like in times past. The launch angle revolution was just a way to combat the mutation of sinkers – the only way to hit them was take an uppercut approach and hope you run into it, strikeouts be damned.
Now that cutters, two-seam fastballs, and sliders are nearly untouchable, something must change. This would not be the first or last time rules evolve in sports, and for the sake of offense in baseball, it is time to see what can help.
Each week this season I will be looking at the week ahead for pitchers. Waiver options, streamers, pitchers making two starts, injury updates and more can be found within.
Kyle Gibson – Texas Rangers
Yahoo: 61%, ESPN: 70%
Sometimes the world aligns and nothing makes sense. There have been two times in Gibson’s career when he finished with an ERA below four, and the only thing they had in common was a BABIP below .300. His current 2.40 ERA would be his career-best, but regardless of how the rest of the season goes, I was wrong about Gibson for at least 25% of the season. He has been lights-out.
Wade Miley – Cincinnati Reds
Yahoo: 42%, ESPN: 37%
Speaking of no-hitters, can we demote teams that get no-hit twice in the same month?
Aside from his 14-plus inning 2020 season, Wade Miley has turned his career around and has pitched at least five innings in his six starts this season. That has mattered with pitch limits and arm injuries being a focus after the abbreviated 2020 season. Miley has one of the best offenses supporting his efforts and should continue to be apart of decisions in his starts.
Huascar Ynoa – Atlanta Braves
Yahoo: 71%, ESPN: 72%
C’mon now. This is last call for Ynoa as he is the breakout member of #PitchersWhoRake.
Cole Irvin – Oakland Athletics
Yahoo: 40%, ESPN: 27%
It may not always be sunny in Philadelphia. The former Phillies pitcher has looked good in his first year on the west coast, upping his strikeout rate while trimming his walks in half from his last go-round as a starter in 2019. Hitch your wagon to pitchers on good teams.
Jose Urquidy – Houston Astros
Yahoo: 69%, ESPN: 69%
It would be pretty nice if you added the 26-year old. He received a healthy amount of run support in his latest win as the Astros’ bats get healthy. Urquidy is a contact pitcher that has done well to limit hard contact in his three seasons. He has also been consistent with allowing home runs – he has allowed 10.5%-11.5% of fly balls to leave the park in three seasons (111.2 innings pitched).
JT Brubaker – Pittsburgh Pirates
Yahoo: 52%, ESPN: 43%
The digital ink for JT Brubaker will continue to spill until he is appropriately rostered in fantasy baseball, especially in leagues where wins do not matter.
Dylan Cease – Chicago White Sox
Yahoo: 60%, ESPN: 49%
The walks are a huge concern (4.45 Per 9 Innings) but the 11.87 Strikeouts Per 9 is excellent for a player on waiver wires. It is important to note what hand the opposing pitcher throws with when starting Sox pitchers. Chicago is 20-1 since last season against southpaw starting pitchers, including Saturday’s 9-1 beatdown of the Kansas City Royals. It is almost a guaranteed win.
Brett Anderson (hamstring) is expected to make his first start since April 23 for Milwaukee on May 9.
Corbin Burnes is scheduled to throw a bullpen session May 10 and appears to be set to rejoin the Brewers rotation in the coming days.
Carlos Martinez pitched May 8 on what he called a twisted ankle. He was cleared to pitch be Cardinals personnel and was shaky to say the least.
Angels starter Alex Cobb was placed on the 10-day IL with a blister on his right middle finger. It is retroactive to May 5.
Rays righty Chris Archer was transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL as he continues to recover from right forearm tightness. The earliest he can return is in June.
Blue Jays prospect Nate Pearson (groin strain) is expected to make his season debut May 9 against Houston.
The Giants placed Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day IL with right biceps tightness.
A’s RHP Mike Fiers was placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to May 7 with a sprained right elbow.
Stephen Strasburg is expected to throw a second bullpen session in the coming days. No timetable has been set for his return.
Johnny Cueto is expected to start May 9 for the Giants. Teammate Kevin Gausman is also due back after battling symptoms from his second COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Miles Mikolas began a Triple-A rehab assignment this week and could be back by mid-May.
This is a projected list. Starts subject to change and not all starters have been named.
Jeff Hoffman and Sonny Gray (CIN) – at PIT, at COL
Mitch Keller and JT Brubaker (PIT) – vs CIN, vs SF
Martin Perez (BOS) – at BAL, vs LAA
Nate Eovaldi (BOS) – vs OAK, vs LAA
Kyle Gibson (TEX) – at SF, at HOU
Alex Wood (SF) – vs TEX, at PIT
Chase Anderson (PHI) – at WSH, at TOR (Dunedin, FL)
Marcus Stroman (NYM) – vs BAL, at TB
Chris Bassitt (OAK) – at BOS, at MIN
Kwang Hyun Kim (STL) – at MIL, at SD
Pablo Lopez (MIA) – at ARI, at LAD
Justin Dunn (SEA) – at LAD, vs CLE